Wash your hands, but keep your mind clean

wash hands_

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Fernanda Clara da Silva, a student of the fourth period of Medicine of the State University of Rio Grande do Norte-UERN. She is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.

The sociologist Émile Durkheim addresses in his work “The Suicide” that, when society is disturbed by crises or sudden changes that weaken collective relations, the state is called anomie. In this condition, as there is no social regulation or Community union, people’s harmony is disturbed and their mental health is vulnerable, due to the situation they are currently exposed to.

With the public health emergency of the new disease of COVID-19, the world has faced a new and sometimes distressing situation, facing a scenario of uncertainty and fear, which culminates in a population with increased stress, anxiety and panic from factors such as lack of perspective, fear of dying, loneliness, loss of family or friends, etc. And these factors of psychological distress can make the period of social isolation even more difficult to confront. With this, it is important not only to make the population aware, but to offer and seek tips and guidance so that the psychological side is better worked.

Thus, recommendations on the protection of mental health were made by the Department of Mental Health and Substance Use of the United Nations (UN) health agency, in order to bring this psychosocial incentive to the general population and health workers. Guidelines such as working on empathy and solidarity with others during this period, using reliable sources of health to avoid misinformation, taking care of eating and performing physical activities at home are some notes that certainly help with mental balance.

Thus, it is important to explore ways to interact and occupy yourself without having to leave your home. With the digital medium, it is possible to make video calls with loved ones, find courses and films. On social networks, there are lives with professionals talking about mental health, physical exercises and topics of interest to each one, which can be very useful during this period. Still, the practice of meditation is a great foundation, since it integrates mind and body and relieves symptoms such as stress and anxiety. Hobbies can also be explored, such as cooking, playing a musical instrument or reading. Certainly, it is possible to filter activities that help encourage balanced physical and mental health during this period of social isolation. We need to remember that this will pass soon, but until then, in addition to washing our hands, we need to keep our minds clean as well.


ALMEIDA, Felipe Mateus de. O SUICÍDIO: CONTRIBUIÇÕES DE ÉMILE DURKHEIM E KARL MARX PARA A COMPREENSÃO DESSE FENÔMENO NA CONTEMPORANEIDADE. Revista de Discentes de Pós Graduação em Ciências Sociais da UNESP/Marília. Aurora, Marília, v.11, n. 1, p. 119-138, Jan./Jun., 2018. Available from: http://www2.marilia.unesp.br/revistas/index.php/aurora/article/view/7306. Access on 19 may. 2020.

Organização Panamericana da Saúde. Proteção da saúde mental em situações de epidemias. THS/MH/06/1. Original: Espanhol. Available from: https://www.paho.org/hq/dmdocuments/2009/Protecao-da-Saude-Mental-em-Situaciones-de-Epidemias–Portugues.pdf. Access on 19 may. 2020.

Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (Fiocruz), Ministério da Saúde. Saúde Mental e Atenção Psicossocial na Pandemia COVID-19. Recomendações para Gestores. Available from: https://www.fiocruzbrasilia.fiocruz.br/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Sa%C3%BAde-Mental-e-Aten%C3%A7%C3%A3o-Psicossocial-na-Pandemia-Covid-19-recomenda%C3%A7%C3%B5es-para-gestores.pdf. Access on 19 may. 2020.

About the author

Fernanda Clara da Silva is a student of the fourth period of Medicine of the State University of Rio Grande do Norte-UERN. Vice presidente of the academic league of pathophysiology of clinical emergencies. Coordinator of the Elderly Health Incentive Group extension project. Local Secretary General (LSG) of the IFMSA Brazil-UERN. Participant of the Collective Health Study Group. She believes in a world with medical students capable of transforming public health.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

European Solidarity Corps: three years on

Fisheries: Commission proposes measures to conserve stocks of deep-sea species in the North-East Atlantic

The vehicles of our future

DPRK reports ‘little progress’ since historic June 2018 summit with US

Can we put a price on clean air? Yes, we can

4 ways the way we make things can change for a sustainable world

To achieve the Great Reset, we will need more than just the actions of the powerful

UN human rights chief denounces grave ‘assaults’ on fundamental rights of Palestinian people

Vegetarianism is good for the economy too

China’s Ambassador to the EU Zhang Ming wishes to Brussels a Happy 2019 Year of the Pig

Draghi: A bridge from Brussels to Berlin

Fostering intergenerational solidarity and cooperation through age-friendly environments: the right answer to Europe’s demographic challenge

Trump’s Russophiles under investigation, Europe remains ‘en garde’

Healthcare’s a human right, not ‘a privilege for the rich’ UNAIDS argues at Davos

Celebrating the Customs Union: the world’s largest trading bloc turns 50

A woman would have to be born in the year 2255 to get equal pay at work

UN rights chief ‘alarmed’ by upsurge in attacks against civilians in Syria’s Idlib

No way out for Eurozone’s stagnating economy

Refugees in Greece: MEPs demand solidarity, warn about impact of health crisis

Is Britain to sail alone in the high seas of trade wars?

“Move fast, build to last: Europe’s new generation” – op-ed by Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission

Guterres underscores UN role in achieving a free, secure Internet

Technological innovation can bolster trust and security at international borders. Here’s how

Why Eurozone urgently needs the ECB to print and distribute at least €500 billion

EU opens a third antitrust file against Google

EU Copyright Directive: Google News threatens to leave Europe while media startups increasingly worry

Why strive for Industry 4.0

The EU can afford to invest trillions in support of employment

FROM THE FIELD: What do you want to be when you grow up? One day I will…

Importance of Mental Health and keeping it together in a Pandemic 

The scary EU elections result and the delayed Council’s repentance

Who is responsible for public health? The tendencies and its benefits –or not– on Health Education around the world

Social Committee teaches Van Rompuy a lesson

Can the US-Iran rapprochement change the world?

Women still struggle to find a job, let alone reach the top: new UN report calls for ‘quantum leap’

Tuesday’s Daily Brief: sexual violence in conflict, a malaria vaccine trial, updates on Libya, Ebola in DR Congo, Sri Lanka and Mali

Japan to invest in euro values

Central Mali: Top UN genocide prevention official sounds alarm over recent ethnically-targeted killings

EU finally agreed to cut roaming charges in 2017 but criticism is always there

New EU rules to thwart money laundering and terrorist financing

Merkel: Nationalism and egoism must never have a chance again in Europe

Charles Michel advocates a strong Europe that acts where it can add real value

How technology can help us achieve universal healthcare

OECD sees global growth slowing, as Europe weakens and risks persist

This is what happened to CO2 emissions in the EU last year

EP supports local authorities fighting the effects of the pandemic

Bilbao’s city parks offer brain-training games for the elderly

Coronavirus: Pandemic alert should be trigger for countries to do more against COVID-19

A Sting Exclusive: “Delivering on the Environmental Dimension of the new Sustainable Development Agenda”, Ulf Björnholm underscores from UNEP Brussels

10 ways regulators need to change in 2020

Three of the world’s hardest-hit nations are preparing to end their lockdowns

UN condemns attack on Ebola treatment centre in DR Congo which left doctor dead, two others injured

How one change to shipping goods could change the way we live

European Commission adopts rules to ensure a smooth transition to its next President and the next College of Commissioners

These technologies are playing a major role at the Cricket World Cup

Trump’s Pandemic Failure: A Missed Opportunity

EU summit compromise: positive step for recovery, inadequate in the long-term

Fighting for minds of youth in Latvia

A healthy human future depends on healthy oceans. Here’s why

US-China trade war at point of no return: Washington’s demands go beyond tariffs

More Stings?


Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s